When your furry feline is diagnosed with diabetes you want to do as much as you can to help him get healthy again. This can include home-making your cat's food in an attempt to give him the best quality possible, but that might not be as simple as it sounds.
A Difficult Balancing Act
The specialized needs of diabetic cats make balanced nutrition more crucial for them than for healthy cats. When putting together a homemade diet it's easy to overlook one or more aspects that can cause a deficiency that then leads to more health problems. If you decide that homemade meals are the best option for your diabetic kitty, commit to being thorough and spending the time it will take to do it right. Remember that cats need taurine as part of a healthy diet in addition to vitamins A and E, fatty acids and niacin, all of which a cat can easily become deficient in. Too much of certain ingredients can be harmful, too. All meat or all fish diets can cause steatitis, mineral imbalances and even hyperthyroidism.
A homemade food high in protein from chicken is the best bet for your diabetic cat. Some people advocate a raw meat diet for cats, and although that would be a step in the high protein direction, there is a chance that your cat will become ill from eating raw meat. When including chicken or any meat as a protein source in your cat's homemade meals, always cook it thoroughly before feeding it to her. If it's cooked to the point that you would feel safe eating it, then it's cooked enough for your kitty.
Carbohydrates can easily be turned to sugar in your cat's system and are often the culprits that lead to obesity and diabetes. Cats don't naturally need a lot of carbs to maintain health; a modest 8 percent or less is all that is necessary for your cat's homemade diabetic food.
Consult Your Vet
When you decide to make your cat's meals from scratch to help with her diabetes, get your vet's advice before moving forward. He is a good resource to double-check your planned menu to ensure that all of your kitty's nutritional needs get met. He also needs to be aware that you're putting your cat on a homemade diet because you'll be feeding her fewer carbohydrates and her insulin will probably need to be reduced. Sometimes cats on a high-protein, low-carb diet are able to go off insulin, but don't make that decision on your own. Always check with your vet before adjusting or eliminating a medication for your cat.
- "Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life"; Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., Esq.
- "The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats"; Martin Zucker
- "Lapping It Up: The Quick & Easy Guide to Making Healthy Cat Food at Home"; Patricia O'Grady
- "The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats"; Editors of Prevention Health Books
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.